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Meet Joe Black (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, Romance  |  13 November 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 159,934 users   Metascore: 43/100
Reviews: 690 user | 98 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

Death, who takes the form of a young man, asks a media mogul to act as a guide to teach him about life on Earth and in the process he falls in love with his guide's daughter.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 6 more credits »
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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Black / Young Man in Coffee Shop
David S. Howard ...
Eddie Sloane
Lois Kelly-Miller ...
Jahnni St. John ...
Jamaican Woman's Daughter
Richard Clarke ...
Diane Kagan ...
Construction Foreman
Suzanne Hevner ...


Bill Parrish, media tycoon, loving father and still a human being, is about to celebrate his 65th birthday. One morning, he is contacted by the Inevitable - by hallucination, as he thinks. Later, Death itself enters his home and his life, personified in a man's body: Joe Black has arrived. His intention was to take Bill with him, but accidentally, Joe's former host and Bills beautiful daughter Susan have already met. Joe begins to develop certain interest in life on earth as well as in Susan, who has no clue who she's flirting with. Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's Expecting You. See more »


Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for an accident scene, some sexuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

13 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

¿Conoces a Joe Black?  »

Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,017,995 (USA) (13 November 1998)


£3,087,979 (UK) (5 February 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Future director Eli Roth had an early job working as a stand-in during production of this film, but was fired by director Martin Brest due to a misconception. Reportedly, Roth was asked to walk with an awkward "bouncing" motion to appear "taller" (as he was physically shorter than the actor he was doubling) while the crew set up a shot and lighting with him. Director Brest happened to walk by, saw Roth's awkward movement, and declared him to be "one untalented stand-in" before ordering him to be immediately fired, not realizing he had been instructed by the crew to move that way. Roth was later re-hired as a production assistant, but this was kept secret from Brest to avoid trouble. See more »


During the first close up of Susan at the parts the straps of her dress are twisted at the back. They are straightened in the future scenes. See more »


[first lines]
Construction Foreman: Please. Please. Don't worry. Don't worry.
Allison: It's utter chaos around here. And I'm terrified we're running out of time. Am I trying to be too perfect?
See more »


Featured in Skeppsholmen: Episode #2.1 (2003) See more »


You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me
Written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best films of 1998, I can't praise this film enough!
9 January 2000 | by (Reading, England) – See all my reviews

I must admit to have been slightly hesistant when I first heard about Meet Joe Black because of the subject matter and its length, however I found this film to be superb.

The acting was believable, the cinematography of the film was well thought out and extremely picturesque. The soundtrack by Thomas Newman (the Shawshank Redemption) went from chilling to the most beautiful melodies that I have ever heard (giving, in my humble opinion, any classical composer a run for their money), adding an extra depth to this film.

There are no in-betweens in this film: you WILL either love or hate this film. However, I can say that this film is one of the most uplifting and life affirming movies that I have ever seen. It left me both moved and confident that the world was not such a bad place after all. Just like the Shawshank Redemption told us that hope is not a bad thing, so Meet Joe Black tells us that indeed love can conquer all better than Titanic ever could.

107 of 138 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Susan's facial expressions distracting? jmax7
Am I the only one who found the traffic accident hilarious? bends1
I contest the bad reviews - I love it! carol1729
How many guys managed better than 20 minutes? gendreau_neil
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The beautiful music lifts the film up above it's flaws michaeldmisdale
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